The Coast News Group
Community Community Oceanside

Oceanside joins the bag ban bandwagon

OCEANSIDE — After a failed attempt to pass a ban on single-use plastic bags in October 2015, and 45 community education workshops, Oceanside approved the introduction of a bag ban ordinance on Wednesday.

Oceanside will join 150 other California municipalities that have a ban on plastic bags, including Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar.

The city’s October 2015 attempt to pass a ban failed with Councilman Jerry Kern, Councilman Jack Feller and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voting no. At that time speakers were split over a ban, and Sanchez recommended an education campaign.

In February, Sanchez asked fellow council members to write a city letter in support for AB 270, which bans plastic bags statewide, but the City Council did not act on the suggestion.

The vote on Wednesday was 3-2 with Kern and Feller voting no.

Kern said he is waiting on the outcome of the November state vote that challenges AB 270. He said if AB 270 gets voter support, it would supersede city law. If it failed, it would give a tally of the choice of Oceanside voters, which the city could use to implement a city law or not.

Feller opposed the ban due to its inconvenience to shoppers. “It’s unlimited what you can take away from citizens,” Feller said.

Over a dozen speakers supported the city’s plastic bag ban. Comments included protecting marine life from litter, and keeping plastic out of our food chain.

Speakers shared how easy it was to bring along reusable bags to shop. “I haven’t used a plastic bag in 10 years, you get the hang of it if you try,” Oceanside resident Amber Newman said.

Colleen Foster, city senior management analyst, said the ban would help the city move from its current 71 percent waste diversion to 75 to 90 percent waste diversion by 2020.

Staff reports shared that plastic bags are not recyclable curbside, travel long distances by wind and end up in waterways.

“Single-use carry out bags are difficult to recycle and manage,” Foster said.

Others pointed out plastic bags are among the most picked up types of litter during beach clean ups.

There was also support from the California Grocers Association.

City regulations will use a tiered approach to require large grocery and retail stores first, then smaller stores and restaurants to comply over two years. A 10-cent fee will be charged for paper and reusable bags.

Oceanside’s rules are similar to the proposed state law. By passing a city ban it shows support for the statewide ban.

Following the council’s vote Councilman Chuck Lowery said that there will be a strong push by plastic bag manufacturers to defeat AB 270. A city ban will ensure regulations are in place.

“Win or loose (on a state law) Oceanside’s new regulation will start cleaning up the mess in our neighborhoods, in landfills and in the ocean,” Lowery said.

City regulations will receive a final vote, and go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

1 comment

Bagger Vance August 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Bags? Are u effin kidding me? The city council wants to ban bags? Doesn’t the council or for that matter , the state have more important things to worry about? Oh, wait a minute… a .10cent fee, ah ha, now I see where this is going. Let me guess, that .10cent fee (per bag I assume) will go where? Let me guess again, the Oceanside City Council, excuse me, The City of Oceanside (don’t want to suggest anything funny now) I love how city’s and corporation’s use the “green agenda” to extort money from the citizens. What happened to paper bags? Oh, I know…cutting down tree’s to make bags…sounds green to me. So, how am I supposed to get my groceries home? Oh God (oops, sorry, forgot we can’t use “that” word anymore), Oh jeez (careful) let me guess again, I’ll have to use some ugly recycled canvas bag made from hemp by hippies in Berkley. But what about the poor hemp plant? Will I need a medical marijuana card to own such bags or is that only if I own more than 5 bags? Maybe they will make bags from all the Confederate flags that are banned. They could dye the bags black as to not offend anyone, cause you know…black bags matter. Or, how about this, people could stop acting like pigs and not litter, maybe show some responsibility and ….no, nevermind, that won’t work either. People, this world is going to Hell on a Honda and corporations and politicians are twisting the throttle. When did the words “decent human beings” become swear words? We are so screwed…but nevermind that, lets worry about those pesky plastic bags.

Comments are closed.